Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st Test, Mirpur

Onus on Bangladesh to take the fight to West Indies

The Preview by Mohammad Isam

November 12, 2012

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

November 13-17, Mirpur
Start time 0930 (0330 GMT)

Chris Gayle plays football at practice, Mirpur, November 10, 2012
Bangladesh will have to dribble past Chris Gayle first © Bangladesh Cricket Board

Big Picture

A Test series between the seventh and ninth-ranked teams shouldn't attract much attention when four of the top sides are locking horns at almost the same time. But when the higher-ranked team among the two commands a new-found respect for winning a world title with its rising stars and its opposition is an erratic but talented bunch playing in front of excitable home crowds, attention towards Mirpur is expected. Contests such as these come without any guarantees but for those who enjoy a bottom-of-the-table scrap, this is it. To keep it a contest, though, Bangladesh will have to up their game and have the will to fight.

West Indies are looking up and have been moving towards a goal - a rise up the Test rankings, though this series will not take them past Sri Lanka, even if the latter concede their series to New Zealand. What West Indies can do is move further ahead of New Zealand and Bangladesh and, more importantly, take their cricket to a higher plane, a level they have been seeking for the past 15 years. Captain Darren Sammy wouldn't want a slip-up against a team they have beaten in all but one series, the one where none of their top players turned up.

As ammunition he has Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine and Fidel Edwards, while for the likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Darren Bravo and newcomer Veerasammy Permaul there is much to play for. It is now a team that has more and more places that are being contested, a phenomenon which is an important aspect of an improving cricket team, coupled with the stability which West Indies have began to develop in some areas of their Test team.

Bangladesh are seeking both competition for places and stability but as of now, only some places in the middle order are held firm and the spot for the second spinner is up for grabs. The national selectors had to call up a 22-man preliminary squad a week before the first Test only because they didn't have enough opportunities to see how some of these players have been performing. The washout of the three-day practice match in BKSP was as much a blow to West Indies as it was to some of the batsmen who could have furthered their cases. It will be those who were there last year who get preference. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim will need Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan at their best from Tuesday if his team has to have any chance of taking the game to the opposition. Bangladesh will, realistically, want to push the game to the fifth day but for that to happen, much will depend on how they handle the first session, with bat or in the field.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LLLDL (Completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies: WWDLL

Players to watch

It has been a quiet build-up to the Test series for Shakib Al Hasan, but Bangladesh's most celebrated cricketer likes it this way. Come the first Test, much would depend on his bowling though it is still uncertain how confident he is with it in the longer format. With the bat, he has stopped many a slide of the top and middle order but if he gets more time to develop a long innings, Shakib could be a threat even when he has to maneuver the Bangladesh tail.

Though not as influential with the ball as Shakib, Marlon Samuels is as effective, if not more, with the bat. Having returned to the Test fold in England, he has been the team's second-highest scorer in the format this year behind Chanderpaul. He has ambitions to hit three centuries in this short series, not too unlikely given how he dominated the Bangladesh attack in the ODIs last year. The pace at which he will bat will also help the likes of Darren Bravo or any of the younger lot who bat with him in the middle order.

Pitch and conditions

Though the Mirpur wicket has long been considered slow with nothing more than hip-high bounce, this season has seen at least two of the pitches here being friendlier towards the fast bowlers to much surprise. The first-class matches have seen more pace and bounce than ever before, though when the West Indies High Performance team played here earlier in the season, spinners found a lot of assistance with turn late in the day. The outfield has been patchy, despite a very expensive relay job undertaken by the BCB.

Team news

If continuity is what Mushfiqur, interim coach Shane Jurgensen and the selectors are seeking, Nazimuddin and Elias Sunny will play ahead of Junaid Siddique and the uncapped Sohag Gazi. But given the confusion that has developed due to a 11-month gap since their last Test, and the lack of individual performances in between, the Bangladesh team management will have to go with the tried and tested, at least for the first Test. Junaid could force it after a good showing in the National Cricket League but it is increasingly likely that Sunny will be preferred ahead of Gazi.

Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Shahriar Nafees, 4 Naeem Islam, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Mahmudullah (vice-capt), 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Elias Sunny, 10 Shahadat Hossain, 11 Rubel Hossain

West Indies have success behind them - the series win over New Zealand in almost similar conditions at home - so they wouldn't want to tinker with the line-up. Permaul could debut, especially after picking up 24 wickets on tour with the High Performance Centre side to Bangladesh only a few months ago, while Fidel Edwards is also likely to return.

West Indies (possible): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Assad Fudadin, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Fidel Edwards, 11 Veerasammy Permaul/Tino Best

Stats and trivia

  • Shakib Al Hasan is four wickets away from becoming only the second Bangladesh bowler to take 100 Test wickets, after Mohammad Rafique
  • West Indies' joint second-highest wicket-taker in Tests this year is batsman Narsingh Deonarine, with 15


"Competition for places can only be a good thing for the Bangladesh team. We have some of it happening for some positions, and the more it happens, the team will get better results."

Shahriar Nafees explains why he thinks he no longer has a secured place in the team

"Last year, we came here and came out on top. This year, we are planning to do the same thing. We have to keep believing in ourselves and we will come out on top again."

Ravi Rampaul doesn't want to forget what happened the last time the two teams met

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

RSS Feeds: Mohammad Isam

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

It would be pretty tough for Bangladesh to keep the test alive, but we the crazy lovers always want our team to fly high. It will be easy if they can play by session to session. Best of luck Tigers!!!

Posted by WesternB on (November 13, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

Fight Bangladesh. WI have good fast bowlers, and BD have spinners. So, fight equally.

Posted by BanCricFan on (November 13, 2012, 0:33 GMT)

One goal... to play till day 5...

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (November 12, 2012, 23:52 GMT)


Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 22:38 GMT)

Go Windies go. Win this and then win in Australia.

Posted by Coolgye on (November 12, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

@Ahmed Hussain - I am also hoping that Bangladesh can put on a tough fight to make it as fun as possible to watch Test Cricket.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

best of luck for bangladesh team we wish tiger will give a great team performence and hope it will good start for bangladesh

Posted by tappee74 on (November 12, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

It might be said that a contest between two lower order teams may not attract the attention of the cricketing nations,but this will be a tight contest. Bangladesh over the years have been gathering strength and their hopes are high.WI on the other hand have just won the recently concluded 20/20 competition and their hopes were never higher in recent years.Chris Gayle & Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be of great advantage to WI batting with Marlon Samuels gathering steam.It will be interesting to see how Narine performs.He could well prove himself as WI key wicket taker.

Posted by denessa on (November 12, 2012, 19:16 GMT)


Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

Well as a loyal WI fan for over half of a century, I'd like to see our men ruthlessly crush Bangladesh in the 8 games schedule, then wish them well in the future. Don't take lightly/underestimate them, but go for the jugular at every opportunity which comes your way in the matches. Exhibit good sportsmanship all the time though. Time to separate the proverbial men from the boys. Let's go WI, no foolishness this time around. Show the cricketing world of what you're made. Display this new found confidence, pride, winning attitude that it's taken so long to recapture after the glory days. GO WINDIES!!!

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

@Coolgye...Yes what you say is true even I'm disappointed that they rely so heavily on those two. Tests no but One-Days they do have the ability to play as a team. We know as Bangladesh fans that West Indies are strong favourites to win this 2-0 we're not dreaming or anything. I just hope they can take the game to West Indies to the last session of the 5th day and make it as tough as possible.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

best of luck bangladesh...

Posted by LeftBrain on (November 12, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

Well, as a neutral cricket lover, I wish to see a closely fought series, but not bracing for it because, with all due respect, Bangladesh lacks quality. Test macthes are won by pacers, BD has none of any quality. Shakib is a class player but to expect him to bail-out non-performing batting line-up in all six innings and then turn around and take wickets to bail-out non-perofrming bowling line-up is too much to ask for. If the only hope (not very realistic though) is that BD take test to fifth day after playing 12 years on Int'l cricket, some thing is very very wrong somewhere. WI on the other hand, have a far more balanced side, with batsmen capable of scoring against pretty much any opposition, and bowlers, both pace and spin, are capable of producing good spells and enforce wickets. My prediction is this is going to be a cake-walk for WI, although I sincerely hope to see a better fought series and a better perforamnce from BD.

Posted by obatsalem1979 on (November 12, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

if samuels,gayle and deonarine all bowl part time offspin,why play sunil narine for the 1st test? give permaul a run,since he bowls left arm spin,something different i guess.

as for playing 6 batsmen,with sammy and ramdin,personally i think it`s time a serious message is sent to both captain and vice-captain,no more just doing enough to hold your spot....time to step up. surely a team with gayle,chanders and samuels in it should not need an extra batsman as a safety net,sammy and ramdin,should be chipping in with runs along with the bowlers holding up an end in partnerships.

gayle,powell,bravo,samuels,chanderpaul,sammy,ramdin,rampaul,best,edwards and narine.

picking two pacers and depending on sammy and narine with part timers should not win windies games against good teams,wi was lucky against the kiwis with that formula,but playing back to back tests,on expected flat tracks,such a strain on these bowlers is not healthy or wise.

Posted by Coolgye on (November 12, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

@Ahmed Hussain - DUDE are you a Bangladeshi or what??? C'mon you got to face it, Bangladeshi rely too much on Shakib and Tamim. They don't have any element called TEAMWORK in their dugout.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Surely Ravi Rampaul will play ahead of Fidel Edwards or Tino Best, and Darren Bravo will be in for Assad Fudadin?! Also will be disappointed if Bangladesh go in with 7 batsmen plus Mushfiqur and only 3 bowlers. Nasir Hossain should be at 4 instead of 8 and they could then fit in the uncapped off-spinner Sohag Gazi to bowl at West Indies's assortment of lefties.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

is the game be showing on tv

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

I don't think The Carabbeans will rely on spinners as heavily as Isam thinks they would. They would unassailably make room for two seamers if not three. I like the squad he created for our Tigers(Bangladesh) which is very impregnable! However, I do not agree with him when it comes to his delusion that Mushy(Mushfiqur) would only look for playing five days out. The objective they set for any game is of winning it by any means necessary. They've started doing it when they've shown what they're capable of and when the cub became an alpha male! I know Test was monochromatic as it cold get for our tigers since the first Test game they played, unlike one dayers,which is paradoxical! But they've started suffusing colors to the colorless game and hope they'd splatter more colors against the Carabbeans.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

@bored_iam...Yeah but Bangladesh back then were so inexperience and young so even stevens shall we say? ;)

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

I just feel Bangladesh might get only do well here if the pitches are slow. I know Windies have Narine but it doesnt matter whether the pitch is turning or not, Narine will ONLY take wickets if the batsman is scared of him. The main worry is the pacers, and if the pitch is like he one mentioned in the article, the result of this test is already known.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

All the best Bangladesh. Lookinig forward for a good fight...

Posted by Proud_GhorJamai on (November 12, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

come on guys,the last test series we played was against pakistan and we took the dhaka test to the 2nd session of the 5th day.If we judge our performance based on that,we are very capable to manage a positive result.keep your hopes up.

Posted by TAPOREE on (November 12, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Bangladesh must forget 11 months without a test and start concentrating on winning and/or at least drawing the series. I analyzed the previous test matches BD and the most horrible finding was that BD over-relied on spin bowling without realizing that, spin bowlers from the opposing sides were farr better then theirs. BD spin bowlers had some success on home pitches but, on the overseas tours were not even performing at club level bowlers. Bring young and fit fast bowlers who can last 5 days. Team management must be decisive what are they expecting from players and should make it clear to the player. All rounders are good for ODI's and T20 but at test level if you expect Shakib to score centuries and take wickets, it is just a fool's dream. Kallis and Sobers were playing as batsmen and bowled only if needed. Their main role, to score RUNS. Imran, Botham, Akram, were playing as bowlers and were needed as batsmen only during dire situations. Their main role, Taking WICKETS.

Posted by bored_iam on (November 12, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

@Ahmed hussain: but cmon now, that team had SEVEN debutants- two of whom joined the team a day before!

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (November 12, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

West Indies are for sure going to win this 2-0 as Bangladesh doesn't have the bowlers to take 20 wickets but I just hope its not too one-sided not a good sign. Its the ODI series where Bangladesh has the real chance of winning but hope they do well.

Posted by gtzshotta on (November 12, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

I know windies will not play only one front-line pacer, which is sad because I would love for Permaul to play. However such is the format of the side and Permaul will surely sit out, and only play a test if a injury to narine or poor performance from one of the pacers.

Posted by sawifan on (November 12, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

@Haleos, I agree that that statement is a sad indictment of Bangladesh's hopes, but surely the bigger issue is how a Test nation can go 11+ months without a Test! How will they ever improve if they play so sporadically. Surely something must be done to rectify this. One feels that the progress Bangladesh have been making is going to waste with such a lack of Test opportunity.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (November 12, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

@ Haleos: I agree with ur comments but BD had improved in last 3 years. BD had drawn a test with WI last year. The difference between that team & current WI side is Gayle & Narine. If BD players can tackle them well, hosts can draw a test at least.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

The team in 2009 where Bangladesh beat them was not their first eleven true but it contained players like Sammy, Roach, Best etc all first team players today so I don't understand why embarrassed people are totally covering up that that team didn't have any top players because they did :P

Posted by huttse96 on (November 12, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

kemar roach please play again i miss u <3

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (November 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

Looking forward to massive triple ton from Carribean king Gayle!!And some massive ones launched out of Dhaka from the big bat of his! By the way,WI to win 2-0 and in 4 days(both).

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Looking forward to see Shakib batting at home condition.

Posted by Haleos on (November 12, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

It is really sad that we have to hope that bangladesh can take the game to fifth day. They dont lack talent but the patience.

Posted by Haleos on (November 12, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

This time around WI should roll over Bangladesh. When Bagladesh beat them it was like third XI for WI.

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